Friday, September 24, 2010

Kau & Aku, You & I

A friend once posted about this dilemma of finding suitable pronouns to use during conversation. I admit I have this problem as well. Especially with people I've just met and I'm speaking a mix of Malay and English.

It's easy when I'm speaking English. There's only one pronoun - I. Nothing complicated about that.

But when it comes to Malay, there are several variations, depending on the feeling of comfort I have with the person I'm speaking to. When I was young (not that I'm that old, mind you), I used to use kita/awak. I think it changed when I went to secondary school. It's more of aku/kau. That's why I will always use aku/kau with old schoolmates. Starting from college, I had to differentiate according to the people speaking to me. Some I adress using aku/kau, while some get I/you. Not that it's foolproof. Sometimes there are slip ups. Generally, the guys get aku/kau while the girls get a mix of both. With people I've just met, of course I'll generally use I. But that sometimes changes to aku. I'm not sure why haha. And then of course I won't be using aku with older colleagues LOL - it's either I or saya. At home, I'll just use my name. Or sometimes orang/dia. Yes, I use third person pronouns at home LOL.

In writing, it's easier. When I'm not sure what to use, I often omit all pronouns and structure the sentence such that I don't have to use them LOL. Makes for some interesting twisting of words, but I hope I got the point across to the other person.

I'm sure you're wondering what's the point of this entry? I was just wondering how other people select which pronouns to use in their daily life LOL. That's all XD


Farah Haida said...

I get "aku" from you most of the time. Where does that put me? Haha. U use orang/dia at home? "Orang" I can understand. How the hell do you use "dia" to refer to yourself? But well yes, it IS confusing...

Farah Haida said...

Wait a minute. Ohh yourself as orang, the other person die. Understand now. I used that too but only with one person before. Haha

layen said...

Hahah that means I'm pretty comfortable with you lah.

Tu la, agak pelik kan orang/dia. Hmm tak perasan la pulak my siblings guna apa. Rasanya diorang pon guna yg sama hahah